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Best friend meeting OW. Incredibly hurt but not sure if it is reasonable?

(96 Posts)

I am divorced and it is just over 2 years since my DH left myself and my DS (then 2) whilst I was in the middle of IVF (so a surprise). Hugely traumatic and messy situation (I moved to his home country when pregnant and cannot return to the UK due to Hague convenention) but net net he left to be in a relationship with OW from work who just before Christmas moved cities to live with him and her DS from a previous relationship. Post split lots of financial and emotional stunts/dramas/deceit and shoddy behavious to deal with. Not an easy time of it.

A few years later and the inevitable dividing of friendships occurred with a few people cutting me off quite abruptly and a few gradually but as hurtful as a couple of them were at the time, I do understand it is hard for people and given my devastation in the immediate aftermath prob the easiest thing for them and I just let that go and concentrated on making new friends as many of our friends had been 'his' original ones as we were in his country and I had only been in the country 2 years before he left.

However this week something happended with one of my closest friends which has upset me hugely and I am struggling to work out if my feelings are reasonable (as they are quite strong). Essentially, she is one of only a handful in this country (we met in baby group - no back story with ex) who has been aware of the whole terrible drama of my marriage split and the OW and has witnessed the havoc it has caused me and seen me at my rawest. She has been wonderful throughout all of this, mopped up my tears and I tell her most things and one of the few people in this country I would consider a proper 'friend', possibly my 'best' friend. I introduced her and her DH to my now exDH and encouraged her DH to join a group sporting activity that they shared. Her DH sees my ex for this and they are in a guys way 'friendly' but no long history or individual relationship outside the group. My close friend is not involved in this sport (all male) runs into ex from time to time but they are not 'friends' outside of general courtesy if they run into each other and close friend is horrified at some of the things he has done.

Now exDH and his OW are moved back to our City I fully expected my close friend to be at the occassional social event that the sporting group occassionally have. I am grown up and realise that as irritating as it is to be excluded (and in most cases dropped) by a social group I helped to put together and introduce to each other well that is just life and it is the shared interest that holds it together and I am not part of that anymore. So I got close friend would inevitably meet OW and no doubt exchange polite chit chat at some point.

What I was NOT expecting though is for my close friend to accept an invitation to my ex and her house for a party that they were throwing for my DS on his birthday (DS is having 'main' party at w/end with his kindy class - exDH was going to attend that as obviously ideal for DS but unpleasantness precluded for this year sadly). I was not expecting it as 1. she is not friends with exDH 2. she knows how devastated I was at not spending all of my son's actual birthday with him this year 3. she knows all of the pain that he and the OW has wrought (2 months ago OW emailed for for first time out of blue and quite unpleasant) 4. she is one of my closest friends for fucks sake and I never in a million years thought she would contemplate going to meet her for the first time at her house co-hosting a party for my son. The invite came last minute via close friend's husband (as part of the sporting social group).

I think I am so upset about it as:-

- if the tables were turned there is no way I would contemplate attending. I would say to my DH - sorry I know you are friendly with x but I am best friends with Dolly who I know is finding not being with her DS hard enough, if you would like to attend please do go along and take our children.
- invite was last minute (day before) so easy to wriggle out of without being rude
- she has not spoken to my ex for months and months, is not friends and has never met the OW
- I've recently returned from the UK (holiday) and feeling wobby about leaving good friends - now one of the only ones I thought I had here I feel just doesn't value our friendship enough to draw a bit of a line...like I say in my mind meeting someone at someone else's bbq etc is totally different than accepting an invite to their house on my DS birthday
- As her DH working she took her children and was going to be there on her own until DH called in on way from work so not like they went together as a family and he was putting pressure on her

To be fair to close friend she called me up and told me that she was going as she did not want me to find out from my DS. She said she was stressed at invite, wished it was different, but felt that she had to support her DH. I was shocked and very audibly upset but thanked her for her telling me. In a subsequent call I was very clear that I found it upsetting and surprising (not going into the detail above), she asked me if I wanted her not to go but in a way that suggested she did want to go. It was clear that I did not want her to go but said that I couldn't ask her to do or not do something....there was no argument/cross words, I was teary but we just left it and she sent me text saying that I was her friend, she admired how I had coped with things and didn't want this to upset me etc etc.

My problem is that I AM upset. Hugely so. And it really impacted me. I think I am a very loyal person and in the UK have strong and long standing friendships (this one is 5 years old) and I just would not do this to a close friend. I know it is hard when divorce hits friendships but in this instance my ex H and she are not friends and her DH is 'only' a social friend rather than long standing friend. I am also annoyed with myself for being so impacted. I am aware it is layered on top of my return from a home visit, the emotion of a split birthday with my son and that she was very upfront and 'nice' about it. But if I am honest I am not sure I am going to be able to get past it entirely as it has changed the way that I feel about our friendship - or at least in terms of how it is valued.

Do I need a kick up the arse or is it OK to be upset with her decision. I am quite a sane 42 year old and not in the case of Heathers. I do get that I cannot dictate whom sees who post break-up it is just that she is such a close friend that I didn't expect this at all. Also would obviously be different if this was a subsequent girlfriend and not the OW who it turns out was exchanging texts with my ex from the time my son was 6 months ago and who had a huge hand (resp being my ex's of course) in the marriage breakdown.

Thanks for your perspective (and please be kindish even if I am being a loon - again problem is the more time that goes by the more I can't believe she accepted invite which isn't helpful).

Sorry if this was a bit long but was trying to convey as much relevent back story as possible without turning into war and peace....

lia66 Thu 17-Jan-13 19:04:19

I think perhaps the dh's are more friendly than she has let on tbh

Upsetting as it is, she knows yOur feelings and has made he decision. Not sure how you can move forwards, personally I'd probably see less of her if I was that upset .

Lizzylou Thu 17-Jan-13 19:06:01

You poor thing, I would be upset in your position.
I don't see why she feels she had to attend?

Shellywelly1973 Thu 17-Jan-13 19:12:59

No your not being unreasonable. I think you need to let your 'friend' know how you really.

You come across as very accepting& realistic about the whole situation.

Take care of yourself.

izzyizin Thu 17-Jan-13 19:13:32

I would be deeply hurt and upset by this, but could it be they've been invited to make the numbers up.

I'm surprised any adult(s) outside immediate family/extremely close would be invited to attend a child's birthday but is it the case that your ds is friends with their dc?

In which case it may be more understandable they''ve been asked and will be attending as 3 is a tad too young to simply drop the child off and collect them later.

AngryTrees Thu 17-Jan-13 19:16:17

I think I would distance myself from her a bit. I would find it absolutely horrible in your situation. You can't reason away these feelings and you shouldn't force yourself to be okay with this.

I think she has been quite callous actually. She knows that you're upset but she basically wants you to be okay with it (or at least hide your feelings) and is going to go to your son's birthday when you can't go. She'll hang about with this woman and your ex despite knowing all these horrible details about their affair. I can see why it's stirring up such strong emotions.

I recommend distancing not as a revenge tactic or as a way to make drama but in order to protect yourself. You sound like you've been through so much and this is really upsetting you.

badinage Thu 17-Jan-13 19:19:13

You are not being unreasonable at all, love.

If I were your friend, there's no way I'd have anything to do with your ex and the OW, let alone socialise with them. I think she's let you down pretty badly and sounds a bit of a wuss. She doesn't need to 'support' her husband at a child's birthday party FFS. If her husband wants to be friends with your ex, it doesn't mean that she has to be friends with him too. Then again, I just don't get these couples who don't have separate friends as well as joint ones.

PrimrosePath Thu 17-Jan-13 19:19:51

I may have misunderstood, but isn't it more of a 'her ds being invited to your ds's party' rather than 'her being invited to your ex's party'? That is, it's a childrens party not a diner party.

I can see that you don't want them to become best friends, but I don't think this is the case here. She did let you know what was happening, do I don't think she is doing anything underhand or wants to hurt you.

LadyKinbote Thu 17-Jan-13 19:21:07

YANBU. What a terrible situation. She's obviously free to be friends with whoever she likes but this is so hurtful. I think you need a calm chat to explain why this has upset you.

babyhammock Thu 17-Jan-13 19:21:38

Yanbu at all. There's no way I would do this to a friend either sad
As for having to stay in that country, what a nightmare xx

AppearingDignified Thu 17-Jan-13 19:27:55

Oh OP, I feel for you. She knows you'll be upset, that's why she's called you but that doesn't really make it better. She hasn't joined forces with the enemy, really she hasn't, it looks like she doesn't realise how personally you'd take it.

You have been screwed over by your ex. Your friend should know how primal that is but she has fucked up in this instance. Hang on in there and just be a little wary for a while.

badinage Thu 17-Jan-13 19:30:05

The friend's son has got a perfectly capable father to take him to the party. She doesn't need to be there at all.

Doha Thu 17-Jan-13 19:33:26

There is no way l would do that to a friend.There is no loyalty there.

I think l would try and tell her exactly how l feel and if she does go, accept that she is not the friend l thought she was

MidnightMasquerader Thu 17-Jan-13 19:34:33

You poor thing. Stuck in another county due to your DH's selfishness and fuckwittedness, and then finding out that your one good friend isn't quite as loyal as your thought should was.

I can't imagine doing this to a friend in a month of Sundays; let alone a good friend; never mind a best friend...!

The problem is, if you distance yourself from her, you're even more isolated in a country that's not your own. sad Have you even had a conversation with your DH about moving back to the UK with the DC? What does he say? How does he rationalise to you what he's done, and what this means for the rest of your life?

Is he in any way remorseful?

izzyizin Thu 17-Jan-13 19:35:23

If I were your friend, I wouldn't go to support my dh and, given that I haven't got a dh, I would veto their invitation in favour of bringing my dc to wish your ds 'happy birthday' when he was at home with you.

What it comes down to is the only reason I'd attend is if you'd expressly asked me to do so in order for me to take notes for the bitchfest we'd subsequently enjoy have about her irritating voice, appalling taste in clothes, cankles, etc shortcomings grin

nkf Thu 17-Jan-13 19:38:23

I'd drop her. That simple. Just bang. Over. I wouldn't even wonder about whether or not I was being reasonable. If it made me feel shitty, I'd drop it. But you also sound as if you need to find more friends. Poor you. Don't feel bad about whatever you do. She's entitled to "support" her DH and you're "entitled" to drop her.

RufousBartleby Thu 17-Jan-13 19:42:24

No, its not you blowing things out of proportion. There is no way I would do this to a friend - it seems completely obvious that it is not okay and a betrayal. I don't think this should need pointing out to your friend.

I really feel for you though OP, you sound quite isolated through not fault of your own.

MimiSunshine Thu 17-Jan-13 19:47:32

I agree with Lia, I think her DH and your ex are more friendly than you think and she's protected you from this.
But the fact that she said "support her DH" means that he's asked her to go which puts her between a rock and a hard place. She has to choose him in this instance, why put her marriage under strain by refusing?

However you aren't unreasonable for feeling the way you do, it must be horrible feeling like OW took your family and now your friends. But she hasn't, your friend will probably feel sick the whole time she's there and avoid talking to OW as much as she can.
Don't let it ruin your friendship, sometimes friends do things we don't like but that doesn't make them less of a friend

springyhope Thu 17-Jan-13 19:54:48

oh Dolly (((hug)))

old timer here (Dee's thread). I wouldn't go (if that helps, which it probably doesn't).

Truly, I odn't know what is wrong with people who do this. You are not being a loon, it is a huge betrayal. As for 'I won't go if you don't want me to go' - wtf?? putting it all on you. I would feel the same, that the friendship has been scarred by this. As you say, she could easily have got out of it last minute.

if it helps at all, and it probably doesn't, similar things happened to me. To this day I can't get my head around it (one very close friend spend the day with X, one relatively close friend went to the opera with him). They were both defensive when I confronted them - me more in total amazement than anything else - along the lines of 'you can't dictate who I am friends with'. Well, quite. They were out as far as I was concerned. But my gosh, did it sting sad

SucksToBeMe Thu 17-Jan-13 19:56:34

She does not sound like much of a friend, you sound totally lovely btw.

springyhope Thu 17-Jan-13 20:02:06

New friends, girl! It's hard but you don't need 'friends' like this. Start over again, new friends. The next lot will be better than this lot - or her, anyway. I have found that most of my friends now are single. The married friends, well, those friendships don't go so well, not really. We are not bosom pals.

scottishmummy Thu 17-Jan-13 20:03:50

sorry for your troubles BUT you can't dictate whom friend socialises with
they all move same circle,and this will include social.shesacknwleged your hurt
you need to lay off the heavy but you're my friend,and emotional baggage

Junebugjr Thu 17-Jan-13 20:04:14

I'd talk to your friend a little more before you think if ending the friendship or being distant. She may have felt pressured by her husband to go, or maybe her DC doesn't like to go anywhere without her. Even if she does go, her view of the OW is going to put the stops on them being too friendly. No one wants a home wrecker too close to them and their families.

Just to give another perspective. One of my dp's friends had a long term gf, who he ended up cheating on while she was pregnant, and left her for OW just after she had the baby. I was still very friendly with the gf, and still see her socially and with dc. Awkwardly, her ex is still with OW and expects everyone to socialise with them. Some events we just can't avoid, DC birthdays, Halloween parties organised by mutual friends, and various sporting events. So we do go as a family, but I avoid OW like the plague, as do most of the other wives, and are just civil enough not to appear rude. My friend is happy with this, and then we have a good goss after it, although I knew she was upset the first few times as she envisioned everyone being all pally with them, and making them think what they did was ok. In reality, no one wants this sort of woman around their family and is just going along with things trying not to get caught in a conversation with her.

Isn't there anyway you can move back to the uk? Or move within the country your in, so you can get away from reminders? Are you dating or any casual encounters? You sound lovely OP, its shit what's happened, I hope you have a bit of happiness coming your way.

EnjoyResponsibly Thu 17-Jan-13 20:06:02

Ah yes. I have seen something similar happen to a couple of my friends.

Tell me OP, is your husband wealthy with quite a snazzy circle of acquaintances? IME that shats all over friendship any day.

Dump her. You might think it will hurt, but it'll be nothing compared to hearing about all the next social occasions/shared holidays that will follow.

Pancakeflipper Thu 17-Jan-13 20:08:24

This must really hurt.

But I wouldn't instantly dump her.

I would meet up and talk about this. Find out what's going on, you can tell her how much it hurts and I think after that you'll feel like you know what to do.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Thu 17-Jan-13 20:15:10

I am so pleased that all the responses have seen this from your POV.

I don't have much to add to what has already been said really, but just wanted to add another YANBU <even though it's in relationships! smile> I can't believe she's done this to you.

I also can't believe you can't just bring your babies back here to your friends and family sad

something2say Thu 17-Jan-13 20:16:12

It hurts tho, losing friends, doesn't it?

bochead Thu 17-Jan-13 20:17:12

Wow this friend has broken the girl code big time.

Tbh I'm shocked at the support her own hubby malarkey - no way would I support a partner in making an innocent friend feel awful(who has already been shat on a from a great height). If the mother of the child can't attend the party then WHY would either member of the couple feel comfortable attending? I don't accept the comment about putting her marriage under strain - you have been treated appallingly. This lady isn't your friend.

You are the one stuck in a foreign country, forced to miss your baby's birthday party, not the ex hubby. A little compassion goes a long way, and by her actions this woman has shown she possesses neither compassion, nor integrity. What's she's done is VERY cruel.

I'd be looking to widen my social circle and gradually easing this "friend" out of my life. Then again I'd rather be totally alone than unsure who I can trust -not everyone has that sort of personality & I accept that. I'd certainly have to tell her that she'd hurt my feelings very, very badly and that I'd need space while I considered the impact of her recent actions.

In future she would be a nodding aquaitance on the street, but never again would she be invited round to my home for a cup of tea. That approach is because you are stuck abroad with no significant social circle of your own; here in the UK I'd just cut her dead.

Thanks for much for your perspective every one, I really appreciate it. Had a sleepless night (I’m in Australia) mulling it all over and got to the point where I could not work out if I was going insane for feeling upset.
I think the key thing is that having gone through an unexpected betrayal and the darkest period of my life, I am much more sensitive to both the small kindnesses in life and also to the small betrayals. And this rightly or wrongly feels like one. I want to emphasise that my friend is genuinely a very lovely and caring person and I know she was very conflicted by this and has made a great effort to say that I have her friend and this won’t change that etc etc. But outside of the obvious foot stamping but its not fair I can’t believe you would go, I also feel it sets a precedent and opens up the floodgates. I mean if you accept an invite to a party then why not one to a dinner party etc as some form of relationship will have been established. I want to make sure I am not confusing or projecting my wider feelings of hurt onto her though but I am genuinely surprised by her going.
To answer some of the questions, the party was for 5 year olds and she has girls who are friends with my DS since birth but now the friendship is more me and her as they went to different kindy’s and the boy/girl gender thing has kicked in – that is we used to have loads of playdates, now it’s the occasional one but we go out for drinks much more as her girls are very girly and my son is all boy; they are lovely together though just the friendship is now more an adult one with kid thrown on – having developed from kids one with adults thrown in. She did mute the possibility of dropping them off until her DH came but sort of ruminating and again seemed to want me to tell her what to do which I didn’t feel was appropriate and also I felt she KNEW what I wanted but sort of didn’t want to do that IYSWIM?
I wasn’t aware until my ex in-laws told me that there was to be a party per se as sadly my ex is very very secretive about his time with my DS and won’t share any details with me (ie I’m not ‘allowed’ to meet the OW and such bullshit). I think there was an element of making up children number as although ex sees DS regularly he is not across who his friend are as he lives a little distance away. There was also the element of he and OW moving into huge mini-mansion type place so a bit showcasing that <pause for calming breathe as he can afford that but pays as little as he can get away with for child support despite large income>.
The point raised about me being isolated is bang on target. In London I can great job, great friends, great life, lovely family and support network, healthy finances etc and over here I am struggling on many levels and trying to carve out freelance work in a field that predicates itself on connections/networks that I don’t have. I have always had quite a charmed life and been very capable and independent and the events of the last few years have really shaken me and rocked my confidence. I guess I don’t want to cut off my nose to spite my face as she is a very very nice person (outside of this decision) and I don’t have that many people I have met here that I click with – plus as I was on the floor with the split and aftermath in all honesty I haven’t been at all my usual self or in the zone to make that many new friends as fairly internal in trying to sort things out and not great company.
I also think at heart – and this is possibly a bit foot stampy – I feel like the OW has my life. She has my ex DH, my son every other w/end, the 2 children, 2 parent set up I had wanted so badly (post DS had ectopic then medical termination at 16 weeks 2 months before my husband left – it was a joint decision and one that I live with but honestly had I known he was about to fark off, I may have made a different one although aware of reality of being single parent with health challenged new baby), has my ex-inlaws who I was close to, big house etc and now I feel like she is moving in on my friends. I know that sounds a bit conspiracy theory and I have to suck it up but the reality is it really isn’t fair so this just feels like another thing that pretty much sucks. That all said having been on my knees my resolution for 2013 is to be more positive and create a fabulous new life but I feel this has tripped me up a bit before I got going. I’m also quite an emotional person – and by that I mean I find it hard to hide what I am feeling – so I guess I don’t want to be too hair trigger about things with this friend as as someone pointed out I don’t have that many to shed over here.
I hope I’m not sounding like sad victim sap. The truth is I miss my old self and I don’t want to be the kind of person who never got over their divorce but there has been much to process and the smaller things seem to trip me up much more readily than they would previously.
I do appreciate all of your views and also the validation. My ex has played the long game as I knew he would – ie everyone horrified by his behaviour including his family so he kept OW out of sight (although knew of her existence) and introduced her 2 years later when everyone deems that it is time to ‘get over it’ and move on. Easy to say. Very hard to do in practice when your life has exploded I am finding…..

<waves to Springy>
PS Sadly have to stay here until son is 18 (I don't but he does so net sum game) due to laws. ex-H could give a shit about my happiness as its all about him and how my DS is when he is with him - when he is outside of his orbit (80%) of the time he sort of blanks it out.

scottishmummy Thu 17-Jan-13 20:21:14

the children have a father and roots,social ,cultural isn't just cases take her babies back uk
this does sound ghastly, I hope op can put the distress behind her and get on
imo talk to friend before any hasty termination of friendships

jenny60 Thu 17-Jan-13 20:21:30

You poor thing. I too would distance myself from her, at least for a while. I don't think a friend should behave in this way.

sarahseashell Thu 17-Jan-13 20:27:29

I know it's a massive cliche OP but time is a great healer and one day you'll see that OW got a selfish twat not a prize. You have your integrity and you sound lovely.

As for the 'friend' YANBU - I wouldn't do this to a friend and I wouldn't expect one to do it to me. You're quite within your rights to terminate the friendship if you wish IMHO

Look after yourself and ds, no-one else matters. It'll get easier. Best of luck to you

arthriticfingers Thu 17-Jan-13 20:28:42

Dolly I remember your original thread and just wanted to send you a brew and a <hug> sad

springyhope Thu 17-Jan-13 20:32:29

You're better off alone than with a 'friend' like this. Like having a friend who's like a wet bottom to a cardboard box: you don't know when it's going to go. She may have been lovely and all that but this is a very poor choice of hers. You shouldn'[t have to spell it out.

You have already reinvented yourself, keep going. You're made of stern stuff dolly, you know that. yy I get her taking your life and yy I get that that's how it feels. But girl you don't know the end of the story. It has been unbelievably shitty but you don't know the end. NOthing is going to keep you down for long.

As for being sensitive to the 'small' betrayals - this isn't small! It's huge!

Junebugjr Thu 17-Jan-13 20:33:59

I really would talk to your friend, see what she has to say before distance yourself, although I can understand how you feel. Then you can go from there. What opportunities do you have for socialising OP? What do you do on your wknds off from your ds?

spudmurphy Thu 17-Jan-13 20:34:19

Yanbu. I'd be devastated but as they say ' there's nowt so queer as folk'. People let you down sadly. I know!

spudmurphy Thu 17-Jan-13 20:42:48

Be careful- what you tell her she may tell her dh who may then tell your sh***y ex dh.
Move away slowly from her.

This would spell the end of the friendship for me, it would be that simple.

It starts with a child's party, pretty soon it's a play date here and there, then meeting without kids for a quick drink to 'support her husband'... She doesn't really want to go of course hmm.

I wouldn't want to hear about any of it and deal with her 'oh poor me I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place'.

Oh dear, this is very sad. I'm sure she feels conflicted - but she has made her decision.

I would continue to see her, but only casually. She might regret this but until she does, you can't trust her to be on your side.

I'm afraid your bastard ex will be delighted won't he. That must be painful too.

Sending you lots of love.

SavoyCabbage Thu 17-Jan-13 20:50:24

I wouldn't do this to a friend either. I would not want to spend a moment making small talk and admiring the cake of someone who had hurt a friend I cared about. I couldn't do it and I wouldn't want to do it.

I think you should use this as a push to try and do some different things and meet some different people. You have a big shared history with your friend but it sounds like time to widen your net a bit.

Is your ds starting school this year? If so I found that a great way to meet a lot of different people.

You sound really lovely.

ProphetOfDoom Thu 17-Jan-13 20:58:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lastSplash Thu 17-Jan-13 21:04:37

I don't think it was such a huge betrayal for her to go but I can understand why you feel so upset. I think dropping her is the best thing to do, not simply because of this but because now exDH is back in town, there will be other invites and other little hurtful things, because of the social connection she has with him. Better to make a fresh start as you say, with new friends unconnected to your old relationship.

startlife Thu 17-Jan-13 21:08:58

I had something similar happen to me when my marriage broke up. My supposedly bf (of many,many years) met with my ex (as her H and ex were friendly). I ended the friendship as I felt she had made a choice. Interestingly the 'friend' later split with her husband as he played away.

How are you supposed to act after the party? can you ask about it? Will she have to choose her words? or not speak about it? This causes the problem, how can you be good friends and have this unspoken topic - the elephant in the room.

I really feel for you - horrible to have it happen but this is your new start. Good luck

arthriticfingers Thu 17-Jan-13 21:09:29

It is one of those horrible cases of damned if you do and damned if you don't. Not cooling off the friendship would leave Dolly vulnerable to repeats of this hurtful behaviour. Cooling off the friendship makes you feel like you are being unhinged and unreasonable.
FWIW, I would go with a gradual cooling off - gradual with no blow ups which only cause more scars, but cooling off because I would not be able to reestablish trust after this.
And being stuck so far from home is shit.

scottishmummy Thu 17-Jan-13 21:10:16

in fairness pal acknowledged its uncomfortable and I wouldn't terminate friendship
you've both said your piece, why dwell on it.you're enacting residual anger you have toward ex upon friend
and hard as is,don't dwell or expec prior friendship trumps this social connection they have to your ex

Thisiseuphamism. Your point about my ex loving it has really hit home. I think that is a big part of it. i.e saying to OW – Oh friend and Dolly used to be close so we must be super special sparkly people that she has chosen to come here…I imagine Dolly has alienated all her friends by being unable to get over things (ex H narrative from day one is that I needed to pull myself together and accept things – actually said as I was recovering in hospital post egg collection for IVF…yes that sounds mental but when he left I thought he was having mid life crisis, we were on the point of no return re eggs and he agreed to turn up and put any embryos in freezer which I took to be a good sign. He in fact turned up told me to pull myself together and ‘shut the fuck up crying as I don’t feel anything for you so your tears don’t bother me’ – yes I know. A veritable prince).

He is smug enough as it is so yes, that does sting. And I am honestly so angry with myself that I can’t seem to find the wherewithal to just say ‘fuck ‘em’ and not give it mental airspace.

Party was yesterday. I have no idea whether to raise or not. She did say I could call her if I wanted to about it. I don't think I will. I think I will just let things lie. According to ex in-laws OW is saintly warm hearted country girl. I imagine they pulled out all the stops. I dont' think I want to hear about it, outside from my lovely lovely DS who is arriving home in an hour <btw of course I am 100% positive about his dad, the OW and her child to him. I wouldn't project any of this onto him ever>

scottishmummy Thu 17-Jan-13 21:16:45

dolly,understandably you're angry at ex,don't project that onto your pal
you and ex clearly have unfinished emotional business.not drag pal into it
but you can't punish or terminate friendship with anyone crossing shared paths

MimiSunshine Thu 17-Jan-13 21:25:39

I am shocked that most people say 'drop her' and dismiss the friends conflict over the issue.
Do you really think that when the friends DH told her about the invite, she just said "oh shoot, that might upset Dolly but never mind"?
I mean really? Do you not think she said "hell no, I'm not socialising with that bitch" which resulted in a conversation between them and ultimately she chose her DH who probably told her that she'd hardly need to speak to OW.

Even if XH and OW are outright trying to upset you OP and take more from you, why give them the satisfaction?
I think how you feel is perfectly understandable but if this is the first issue you've had in your friendship with her then why not give her a 2nd chance? Talk it through with her and see how you feel.

scottishmummy, thanks for your perspective. I think that is the essense of the thing. I intellectually know that I shouldn't let it cloud our friendship and that my feelings are probably coloured by all that has gone on before but the reality is because she knows all this (as we have shared it) I do feel very let down and I don't want to bring resentment into the friendship. I very much wish that I could take the approach my head would dictate as the correct one but I'm just trying to manage the hurt that I feel - which may be misplaced or inappropriate - but it does feel very real. I also know that this plays into the hands of my ex who no doubt describes me as bitter and bereft but I do feel a little like someone who is pressing their nose against the glass of a busy restaurant where my former life is having a party without me. And yes I know that sounds a bit pathetic and playing the smallest violin for myself but that is how I feel. I think I'm posting here to get some perspective and not trouble any friends in RL with this. It helps to see things from different sides. Thanks

sarahseashell Thu 17-Jan-13 21:34:04

OP don't worry about being 'fair' - people haven't been fair to you. Most people just wouldn't go in this situation, IMO. To get through this situation you may find you have to get a bit ruthless and just put yourself and ds first. Start to broaden your social circle and get a counsellor if you can, so that you've got someone to confide in whom you can trust.
Then focus on building up your own life to the best it can possibly be and remember the best revenge is to live well. If you want to just give it some space and keep this friend then do. If you don't want to then don't feel bad. It's survival, and she'll understand in the long term or if she's ever in your shoes

scottishmummy Thu 17-Jan-13 21:36:18

she's been a good pal,she gets you,you get each other.you could do with a pal
whether you like it ir not via school,birthday parties social contacts will be shared
ds will have pals who see him when with you and ex as burgeoning friendships blossoming

I have friends who have to grit teeth and share contacts,same wee pals and parents at parties etc.they find it excruciating but kind of muddle through

Yes, it is gutting. It is as though everyone wants you to get over it, move on, - but how can you when it's an ongoing situation? and now it must feel like your friend has joined that chorus too.

But, It doesnt sound as though your friend is really doing that - she has behaved very sensitively around the issue - even if her choice was crap - it sounds like she still wants to be your friend. Try and be honest with her, and then laugh and talk about other things...it may never be the same again, but it might be...

Hope you are having a good time with your boy.

kitsilano Thu 17-Jan-13 21:42:56

You are entitled to feel very betrayed by this. But agree with others about keeping your cool and not providing any "crazy ex-wife" fodder that will just delight your ex.

Get some more friends! You are clearly a caring, thoughtful, articulate person so get out there and get friendly!

scottishmummy Thu 17-Jan-13 21:47:08

see that's the rub,emotions do cloud intellectual reasoning and clarity
IMO,you've not been betrayed, you are disappointed/hurt/rejected and it's another blow
be careful you not get portrayed as bulgy eyed ex. keep it cool,calm,cordial no hasty decisions

mammadiggingdeep Thu 17-Jan-13 21:49:56

Don't give up on her- she sounds like she's really been a good friend to you. You've had a really hard few years- once you've had such a massive betrayal as an affair in your life, I think smaller 'betrayals' or even disappointments/let downs from other people can seem harder to bear. This is certainly how I've felt.

Could it be that her husband really wants her to go and she has just had to do it fir him? If she's been really supportive of you, her dh might be saying something along the lines of "now it's our turn to support exdh, he's my mate too etc".

Unfortunately in life people do surprise us and let is down, often the people you really thought you could count on. If at all possible, muster some strength and rise above it. Enjoy your precious dc and focus on you and him. Hugs x

Feckthehalls Thu 17-Jan-13 21:50:45

very harsh to say dump the friend!!
she totally gets that this is difficult for you and she herself is conflicted about it.

frantic53 Thu 17-Jan-13 22:23:04

Wouldn't dump her. Would definitely keep her more at arms length in future though. I think you're incredible OP. I know that, in your position, I'd be in pieces. (((hugs)))

deste Thu 17-Jan-13 22:45:09

I wouldn't dump her either. Do you think she wants to meet her to sum her up sort of thing. I know it's difficult but put it behind you and move on. You sound very positive and strong. I don't think I could have coped with this if I had been in another country.

Piffpaffpoff Thu 17-Jan-13 23:12:46

I was in a similar situation to your friend although the friendships were not as close to start with but it was an equally messy break up. I tried to maintain both friendships because I didn't want to pick sides and it was awful, one half refused to speak to me for a very long time because I had maintained contact with the other. It was awful, I felt like whatever I did I would upset someone and I didn't want that but it seemed unavoidable.

So my advice would be speak to her, she may be feeling wretched about it too and be struggling with the situation she's been put in by your ExDH. it's a difficult and impossible situation all round. sad

OP in the past I've been a very ignorant, insensitive friend. Without going into detail I was dropped by a couple of people about 20 years ago who explained why they felt I'd betrayed them but I was too pig-headed to understand. I regret my behaviour to this day.

Your post a while back when you were saying you felt OW had 'taken' your life was articulate and heartbreaking. Write to your friend, or speak to her saying what you said here. Make it clear that you can't continue the friendship if she's going to be new best buddies with OW. I'm pretty sure she'll want to remain friends with you. Fwiw I'd be your friend - you sound like my kind of person - strong, positive, intelligent and you put your dc first. My heart goes out to you, but something tells me you're going to end up the happiest, most fulfilled person in this set-up x

Mimishimi Thu 17-Jan-13 23:24:53

I wouldn't dump her just yet, especially if your ex and her DH have become good friends. Are you in Australia? Unfortunately it's common for the males to congregate around the barbecue drinking beer whilst the women are expected to look after the kids. She might not trust her DH to keep a close enough eye on the girls alone especially if there is a swimming pool, open access to the road etc.

I think the fact that she's been open with you about it means that she's not likely to be sneaking around behind you forming friendships with OW. See how it goes after the party and by all means let her know that you did feel a bit hurt by it .

I've seen this situation myself and with a few friends in similar circumstances.

I'd say step away a little bit and then just see how it goes with your friend.

Time will tell.

It could be a one off. She could just not get it and then over time it would just be an annoyance for you.

Most of my friends have been fine. No interest in H. But I have made new friends through all of this and you will too. And I actually I see far more of my new friends now than the old ones who mostly to be honest seem too entangled in family life to want to play with me. I have time on Sundays and holidays when most of them are seeing their families. I don't have hardly any family except for my kids. My new friends like to met on a Sunday or Bank holiday and chat on the phone of an eve.

One of my friends just didn't get it. Over time I have stopped confiding in her. Sad but the right thing. She doesn't understand.

Graceparkhill Thu 17-Jan-13 23:35:27

Hello Dolly( sorry couldn't resist).

I don't have any specific advice to offer on your situation with your friend other than to say I would just let things drift for a bit and see if you can put it behind you and continue the friendship.

What I did want to say is a massive well done to you for going through such a truly awful time and still being insightful and considered and generous.

I am wondering whether you could utilise your experience perhaps through creative writing or becoming a life coach.

You truly are the better person in all this and a rock for your wee boy. You never know what's round the corner so I hope you can stay focused on a happy future for yourself and DS- you certainly deserve it.

By the way- what you said about other woman living your life may yet come true. If he cheated on you he can cheat on her!

orlakielylover Thu 17-Jan-13 23:37:21

My heart is breaking for you OP. You sound like such a lovely lady and so strong.

AThingInYourLife Thu 17-Jan-13 23:58:20

I think she's made her choice, and she went for the big house, the large social group and the people who think you should get over having your life roped to shreds by this prick.

The best thing you can do is put as much distance as possible between you and him.

Can you move to a new city?

Certainly you should try to move as far away as possible from the whole mess and start again.

Gosh it is good to get lots of perspectives, it has helped pull me out of the black hole I was slliding into so thank you.

I also appreciate the comments about me sounding nice (shucks) but I do want to assure that over the last few years I have certainly had a lot of times of being shrill, emotionally incontinent, slightly crazed person as I had such a lot to deal with. Honestly, I have been quite disappointed with myself at times. I didn't picture myself this way and sometimes I think that I should have bounced back a lot quicker.

I think that is playing on my mind in that I do acknowledge that I probably haven't - and I'm talking generally, not in relation to this specific friend - been the best of friends to hang out with as 1. I have been a bit Ms Misery and 2. Certainly for first year and a half I was honestly so consumed with all my troubles (outside of the emotional ones, there were huge financial and logistical ones and this had come on the back of 2 failed pregnancies that ended quite late, the IVF, then the marriage split) that I probably offloaded too much onto certain friends and just didn't really have a filter. I was also so consumed with my 'shit' that I didn't really stop to think about what was going on with their lives - in that it was probably a bit one sided in terms of talking about me vs them, and lets face it after a while who wants to hear tales of woe too often. I hope I wasn't rubbish friend but I do know I was self absorbed in my problems (hopefully not generally self absorbed) and I do realise that this can be quite wearing. Of course there have been nice fun times, drinks, laughs, talking about them and their families/issues/work - the usual stuff of friendship but I suppose my dramas have overshadowed a bit and net net not Mary Sunshine. This was quite confronting to realise as without sounding egotistical, I think I used to be the kind of person it would be fun to sit next to at a dinner party - interested and interesting in life and people and actually damn good fun if I'm honest.

I did realise this fortunately and reigned myself back outside of some very old UK based friends and try to stop myself banging on about the latest dramas.

Half of me wonders if going to a fun glam party was a bit of a draw and yes to one poster - here in Australia it is much more men in one corner women in the other. I am also currently in a very affluent area - very mono cultural, realtively wealthy, middle class (as the Daily Mail would have it) - so there isn't much diversity. Single parents are a bit of an anomoly and I'm not sure people know what to 'do' with them. In my old London life I had single, divorced, gay, older - tons of different types whereas here its all a bit tennis lessons, highlights, 4 wheel drive territory. I'm contemplating a move to the city proper (we are 50 mins outside) when and if my house sells but then the enormity of starting ALL over is daunting (I do have some nice friends if not that many where I am).

Anyway. This is starting to be a bit like therapy rather than a response to the posts so I'll shut up now. And again thank you taking the time out. I think MN and the like is wonderful in helping those that may feel isolated at times.

Dolly

AThingInYourLife Fri 18-Jan-13 00:21:32

Yes, move out of the dreary suburb and make a new life for yourself somewhere more interesting.

I would leave everything that has been a part of your life in Australia so far behind.

AThing - I have to stay in same City - part of terms of legal stuff unless ex gives permission and he won't. Plus I want my son to have that relationship with him. I think it is a good one (when he is with him). Limits choices though....

elastamum Fri 18-Jan-13 00:37:32

Dolly, you might not feel it, but you have done fabulously well and your old self is still there waiting to get back out there once the dust has settled. It takes a long time to put yourself back together after such a trauma and you will come out of this a slightly different shape, but still you smile Have been there and how friends treat you post split really matters. I think your friend has been unkind to you - but she probably does'nt really appreciate the hurt she has caused. Keep moving forwards and building your new life. If her friendship is worth it it will remain, if not just let it drift away.

springyhope Fri 18-Jan-13 01:05:08

A nuclear bomb has gone off in your life dolly, and the fallout isn't over yet. What has happened to you is immense, many would have gone under (scuse pun). So what if you droned on? It was keeping you alive. At the moment I drone on with friends who I know care about me. If they don't care about me they're out - nothing personal, I just can't afford it at the mo. I am in major crisis and that's what friends are for, to stick with you when youj're in crisis. Being bubbly, happy, interesting dolly/springy is for another time, this isn't it.

I dont apologise, either. When you're facing something immense you hunker down to stay alive. Give yourself a break, Dolly. Who gives a shit if you've not been the life and soul? Though you say you take an interest in your friends' lives etc, you're not a complete drudge 24/7. Even if you were, so what? You don't need to apologise for being smacked into outer space by your shit ex.

Your 'friend' says you can call her to talk about it gee thanks . you call her ?? if anything, it should be the other way around. It all seems wrong, something very wrong about it. Is she patronising you?

ime people who haven't had their guts ripped out of their lives can be a bit thick about severe emotional crisis, can definitely be patronising. Even if she is inadvertently patronsing, I still can't see that going to their house is in any way acceptable, no matter how you look at it. The majority of posters consider it a dealbreaker dolly - what's with turning yourself inside out like a pretzel to find a socially 'acceptable'/ tolerant philosophy to smother the outrage you feel at your friend's betrayal by making it your fault (for being a drudge etc).

Betrayal is very shocking. Do you see a counsellor? You won't get patronised by a counsellor.

Yes, you're stifled. Move to a city. Find some older, younger, ethnic, feminist, single parents, gays, other freelancers, creatives, etc. Network, have fun and make a success of your life. I reckon you could do that fairly painlessly actually.

emmyloo2 Fri 18-Jan-13 03:06:57

Gosh how upsetting for you. No matter whether she was right or wrong to attend, I can totally understand how absolutely gutting this would be. I think the fact they were having a party for YOUR son would be difficult enough for me to cope with. I wouldn't want the OW having anything to do with my child (but I would be bitter and petty like that I think if I was in this situation).

I think she was wrong to attend. If it was me, I wouldn't have gone. She doesn't need to support her DH.

But bloody hell, how awful for you.

emmyloo2 Fri 18-Jan-13 03:16:38

and you don't sound pathetic at all. Honestly, if it was me, I would be so hurt and so bitter about the whole thing I wouldn't even be able to stomach the fact the OW saw my son. You seem to really be taking the moral highroad and the OW is left with a cheating shit. And when your son is older, this will fade in significance, if you know what I mean. I.e. when he is teens+ it won't all seem so hurtful that she spends time with him. I may be talking out of my arse mind you but I just can't believe this has happened. All of it. You are really very strong to still be coping in my view, let alone trying to be reasonable.

AuntieVenom Fri 18-Jan-13 03:23:06

I'm sorry you're feeling so rubbish. I also think your friend has been insensitive at best and would also be reconsidering her friendship. I would be worried that anything you were saying to her would end up getting back to the ex and OW.

On a tangent, I just noticed that in your OP you mentioned your ex has just moved back to your city.

Does that mean he was able to move away and did you have to give your consent? You might be able to use that fact to your advantage either way.

Auntie - he maintained granny flat next to his parents but lived in the other city in reality but as he had a job address (national one so he could do from anywhere). at the time we had huge dramas as he would take my son to her city (10 hours round trip in a w/end with a then 3 year old) and not give me her address or tell me he was going (Springy knows this story from a thread last year)....so it is good that he is in our city again for DS sake - I'd much rather he had an hour round trip instead BUT tough for me as they are 'proper' family unit and 'in my patch' as it were again. I knew this would throw up issues but just not how quickly.......

AuntieVenom Fri 18-Jan-13 05:41:34

Bloody hell, what a fucking bastard!

I can fully understand why you're feeling the way you are. I know it's trite but your son only has 1 mum and it's you.

Another thing to think about is she's always going to have at the back of her mind that her "man" can't be trusted. Every time he's a wee bit late, or his phone goes unexpectedly, or he has to travel for business she'll have a niggle - she'll push it away but it will be there. Something you never have to worry about again.

You probably already know that but it's good to re-affirm it wink

At least it's Friday and almost wine o'clock!

scottishmummy Fri 18-Jan-13 07:22:37

you've had messy break up,and hurt.that's a given.don't get stuck in emotional rut
Time to take wee steps towards transition away from the impact of divorce
Focus on the now,keep whatever support you need inc this pal and get a here and now focus.

cuillereasoupe Fri 18-Jan-13 07:34:45

Yes, move out of the dreary suburb and make a new life for yourself somewhere more interesting

Definitely definitely definitely. Doing this absolutely saved my mental health when I was in similar circumstances a few years ago.

AppearingDignified Fri 18-Jan-13 08:23:56

Are you in Sydney? Get yourself a nice two bed unit near the beach, manly/ bondi/ bronte. I have three single parent friends in the eastern suburbs and they are all very happy (and dating).

Walk out of your old life and start a new one. If you are in an area where ex and your old friends don't live you won't have cross over people.

scottishmummy Fri 18-Jan-13 08:55:30

don't be defined by this,forever the woman with messy divorce
look online, to meet other mums, expat forums meet new arrivals, uk folk
start a class or women gym to meet folk.accept shit hapoens and move on,start again

ProphetOfDoom Fri 18-Jan-13 12:41:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

An Update (just in case anyone was wondering) and a Thank You....

.....For firstly thank you all for your comments. It was very useful in the round as both a validation of what I was feeling and food for thought in terms of the thought processes and expectations of my friend.

I decided to call her so we didn't have this 'elephant' in the room and whislt it was a very 'nice' phone call it did clarify that she just does not understand or 'get' how I must be feeling - in that I know she's sorry I was upset but I don't think she really knows why and also got the impression she liked the OW which is fair enough but not something I am keen to hear. Don't get me wrong - with mutual friends/family I have ZERO expectation of discussing or commenting on their relationship - for example I am still friends with my former sister in law - do business with her in fact - and we just (now) never go there - as with the handful of other people I know still see him/and her as they were very much mutual/his friends - just THIS friend surprised me a bit. Anyway, net net we will see how things pan out and if this has made things awkward in the medium term.

Separately though in considering if our friendship did end it also served as a really good reminder that I need to remember not to let the current financial and residual emotional difficulties encroach too much into friendships....ie lets say if I did (which I won't) decide to cut myself off from her what would she be losing?have I been too much of a draining friend? I do think I'm relatively good company most of the time now but it has not always been the case so worth remembering....

....anyway - cheers for your help. I really was in a decline when I posted so helped avert a little - Dolly x

arthriticfingers Mon 21-Jan-13 07:26:34

Please don't knock yourself, Dolly sad
Yes, you have been through a tough time, but I would rather have you as a friend than someone who has been directly involved in shit awful behaviour and both facilitated and been complicit in terrible deceit and, what to me sounded very much like, child abduction.
Not the kind of person I would want to be anywhere near - however 'nice'
You, on the other hand, should cut yourself some slack and hold your head up high.

Dolly - how very painful.

I think some of the advice here has been excellent - "don't let yourself be defined by this" etc - but of course easier said than done. Still, thinking about moving and widening your circle will be good and fun for you I imagine - and preparing for your circles to overlap - less fun.

Your friend doesn't get it now, so I would leave the issue. However, in ten or twenty years time, I wouldnt be able to resist telling her, don corleone style - "you hurt me" etc. perhaps she will get it by then.

ProphetOfDoom Mon 21-Jan-13 14:47:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AThingInYourLife Mon 21-Jan-13 16:10:07

"However, in ten or twenty years time, I wouldnt be able to resist telling her, don corleone style - "you hurt me" etc. perhaps she will get it by then."

She won't matter by then.

The OP's life will have moved on.

I doubt they'll even be in touch.

Xales Mon 21-Jan-13 16:26:53

I would find it almost impossible to now be relaxed and open around this friend.

Considering what has been said about your breakup between you I would be unable to trust if she liked the OW what could get back to her accidentally or on purpose.

The friendship level would be damaged.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Mon 21-Jan-13 17:29:29

You won't know me but I recall your thread and kindly input with other threads when I was reading and not yet on MN, Dolly. I often wondered how you are getting on.

I don't think you are being unreasonable to feel very upset in this instance, even if your friend excuses herself by saying she went along for her DH's sake, or was even curious to see OW in action, looking out for your DS, etc. It's come as a shock and you feel the sands shifting beneath your feet. She did at least phone you to tell you and 'fess up. I know you're not entirely reassured by your last conversation, but suspect you will feel clearer about how things stand when you meet face to face again.

Now you can either consider whether you want to let ex's pervading crappy influence spoil this friendship entirely, (aka he wins again), or whether you can let this go and be prepared for future disappointments when it comes to her socialising, but overall value her friendship and overlook this flaw.

PS As AuntieVenom says ^^, not that you give a damn about OW anyway but how will she ever relax when she has to perpetually out-do you, or your ex is late or takes 'business calls' at the weekend or late at night, or the shine wears off and he starts nit-picking?

MidnightMasquerader Mon 21-Jan-13 20:35:18

^"... and also got the impression she liked the OW which is fair enough but not something I am keen to hear.^"

Of course you're not, and this just shows how much she does not get it.

I mean, the OW is not the devil incarnate. I'm sure she's perfectly capable of being superficially and socially 'nice'. I mean, your DH wouldn't have formed a relationship with her if she'd been a deranged witch.

But that's not the point is it? She still did what she did. Under the pleasant enough exterior is still someone capable of unkind, extreme selfishness. Just like your DH has a perfectly amiable exterior to his acquaintances, underneath he is also a highly flawed person. Even more so than the OW.

Your friend knows this better than most. And yet she is seemingly willing to overlook this for her own reasons. Which she is obviously perfectly entitled to. But which also show a certain lack of empathy and loyalty to a hitherto good friend.

Ultimately - her friendships are hers to make and as you know full well, you need to accept that. But likewise, the fundamentals of your friendship are likely to shift after this. Actions have consequences, etc; it's not a matter of 'punishing' her, but simply re-evaluating what your friendship means and how much you can rely on this person.

I agree with everyone who's said that you shouldn't let this define you and it will probably take a huge amount of effort to not let this get to you, but in the long run it will be worth it. Of course it's right to try to be the bigger person, but you can't help your own unbidden thoughts about things, can you...

scottishmummy Mon 21-Jan-13 22:56:12

all this introspection she said,is bit indulgent. you dont need more things to be sad about
sorry friendship taken a decline,but Christ alive don't dwell.it's disappointing.move on
start some classes,women's gym,do a blog,throw self into activity,mums groups

catsrus Mon 21-Jan-13 23:28:06

Hi Dolly - I was on one of the original threads 2 yrs ago (may have NC'd since then confused ) my exH left the same time as yours.

My take on it is that this will keep coming up as they live in the same city - and your ds will be a common factor (ex inlaws, friends etc). You can't stop yourself feeling hurt but you can control how you react to that. Being the "injured party" is not how you want to be defined - you've said that already. You have to work on detachment, otherwise he and the OW are in control of your life and emotions not you.

Your exH's OW probably is very nice to talk to - a lot of OW are probably very nice to talk to morals of an ally cat of course so people you like, and who like you, might like her and that's OK. It really is and I think you have to come to terms with that otherwise you will be torn apart by your emotions every time you discover someone you consider a friend has spent time in their company.

The advice to make new friends is obviously good advice - but continue to connect to your existing good friends back home. Some of my best support has come from friends who don't live in the UK and live in a different time zone, the internet is a wondrous thing grin

You think she's got your life - she hasn't. She has a life with a cheater and a relationship based on lies and deception, I doubt she'll ever really trust him. you have been released from having to live with him and you are now free to be yourself - a self who is not defined by any relationship with him or her - forget them when it comes to your relationships, they don't exist. You can do it because you say you manage it with exH's sister - just do that with your friend. You need to detach for you so that you can move on and be the person you know you are.

scottishmummy. From my perspective the nature of an online forum – in the relationship section – is to allow people to mull over things that are issues for them, get thoughts, advise and perspective. And the nature of a forum is that you have to be willing to accept and listen to all points of view. I have found it helpful at various points when I have found things hard to process or deal with on my own. I found your thoughts very useful and a good different perspective – so thank you – but I am a little hmmm about being labelled as indulgent for being introspective on an online forum about relationship issues – again, I thought this was a good place to be thus rather than inflict it on those I know in RL (who would probably indeed be commenting Christ Alive change the record). Without sounding Pollyannish I posted again as a courtesy update as I am always grateful that people have taken the time out of their day to ‘help’ a stranger, not to hear the sound of my own voice or as a pity poor me exercise. If that is how you imagine me that you would be incorrect.

MidnightMasquerader Tue 22-Jan-13 00:28:06

Dolly - I think scottishmummy's post was probably aimed at some of the rest of us, not you!!

Moving on is the best possible advice in the world - and the easiest to give someone. wink Anyone can tell someone to stop dwelling, being self-indulgent and to 'move on'. But actually moving on involves processing what's happening, trying to make sense of it, and yes, getting other perspectives.

Personally, having people empathise (even if they can't fully understand) with me helps me an incredible amount in terms of validating my feelings, letting me own them (sounds so naff, but you know what I mean) ... and then putting them behind me. Writing it all down can also be really cathartic and enlightening - so hopefully this thread has helped from those perspectives.

Not everyone can just deal with the shit storm that you've been through and then come out the other side unblemished and able to forget. Please don't feel like you're being unnecessarily self-indulgent; you're not.

perfectstorm Tue 22-Jan-13 12:08:23

This would be a dealbreaker for me. Not even on loyalty grounds, just future likelihood of misery grounds. It's an overlap to the most painful aspect of your life, you'll always be second-guessing anything you say, and every time you see her you'll be wondering what contact she has.

I'd let it drift, and work at establishing friendships without any overlap at all.

And you aren't over reacting, because this is about the divorce fallout, with a friendship letdown thrown in. You'd not be human if you didn't feel betrayed again, and it's completely natural to be very hurt.

Incidentally, nice people don't send nasty emails to the woman whose marriage they helped destroy. Nice people can be OW, they can even be OW who become second wives, but by definition they feel shitty over it and curb the natural resentment they'll feel, with the hostility so high. If your friend doesn't know that, and worse, feels it wise to tell you how nice the OW is, she's either stupid, or a bad friend, or both.

SolidGoldFrankensteinandmurgh Tue 22-Jan-13 13:48:04

I appreciate that it's rotten for you but it would also have been a difficult situation for your friend. Her H is friends with your X, her DC presumably wanted to go to the party - whichever way she decided, someone would have been hurt and upset. I don't think she's a terrible person for putting her own family ahead of a friend's needs. Also, please bear in mind that two years might not be long enough to get over a horrible trauma but it's a long time for the people not directly affected by it to carry on giving unlimited, unconditional support when they are not professional counsellors.

I agree with the posters who suggest you devote the bulk of your time and energy to building a new social life for yourself - and if you are not already seeing a counsellor, look for one (it might take two or three goes to find one who 'fits' with you, but it's worth doing.) In another couple of years, you will be wondering what all the fuss was about. Good luck.

VeryTattyMum Mon 28-Jan-13 13:07:39

I (have NC several times but similar) remember your earlier threads Dolly and also saw how supportive and nice you were to other posters despite your despair. You have stayed in my mind because my XH is in Australia and I was so nearly trapped there like you are (a long time ago I'm 10 years or so older than you).

You are obviously a very caring and loyal person and unfortunately your friend is not but don't sacrifice one of your support network just distance yourself slightly - along will come other friends with the same values and loyalty as you. OW is not a nice person as nice people have compassion and empathy like you.

FWIW I think the grieving for the end of a marriage that you believed would be forever probably takes the same duration as the marriage. Given the shock and isolation you have be subjected to, you're doing amazingly well and your son will carry that example of great human spirit with him his whole life.

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